A couple from Hawaii was shocked when they opened their electric bill and found they owed the power company nearly $18,000. Hawaiian Electric told the couple that because they own the street, they are responsible for the cost of powering the street lights.
“Hawaiian Electric recently learned that you both own Halemaluhia Place,” the power company wrote in a letter explaining the charges. “Because you own the street upon which the streetlights are located, Hawaiian Electric believes that you are responsible for the payment of electric energy supplied to these streetlights.”
The couple had no idea they were considered the owners of their entire street, let alone responsible for paying for the streetlights.
The power company said it does not expect the Kealohas to pay the bill and is working to track down who should be responsible for the $18,000 charge.
“We’re working with all parties and have spoken with the Kealohas. We want to assure them that we don’t expect them to pay the outstanding bill. Our goal is to determine who owns the street where the streetlights are located so that the bill can be paid going forward,” spokesperson Shannon Tangonan told the news station.
Desha-Ann said there are other homeowners in the area who may be in a similar situation.
“I’m basically trying to draw a roadmap for myself on how to correct this whole thing,” Desha-Ann said, “because there are other roads just like mine in my neighborhood that have homeowner names listed as the owner — my guess is they aren’t even aware of it.”